Increased Valentine’s Day spending means hard to value contents claims for carriers

Thinking about getting a gift for that special someone for Valentine’s Day? You are not alone. In fact according to the National Retail Foundation total Valentine’s Day spending is expected to exceed $17 billion in 2012. The average person celebrating the holiday will shell out $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year’s $116.21 and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history.Consumer’s significant others will spend the most on gifts for each other with men on average spending more than twice as much as women, $170 versus $70. Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members and $6.92 on friends. Even pets are shown love on Valentine’s Day with the average person spending about $4.52 on their pets.

For insurance carriers all this spending means more contents in the homes of their policyholders. One of the most popular and expensive gifts to give on Valentine’s Day is jewelry. Of the $17 billion that will be spent on Valentine’s Day this year, a healthy $4 billion of that will be spent on jewelry. With that kind of influx of new jewelry amongst the US population, carriers are poised to see a number of jewelry claims in 2012.

Jewelry is a tough item for insurance carriers to deal with because in many cases it requires special coverage and generally sentimental value is placed on jewelry by the insured which adds an extra level of emotional attachment. Values can be tricky to determine without proper expertise and can hold up the settlement of claims which is an unfortunate situation for all parties involved.

It is important to ensure you have experts who understand the nuances of the jewelry industry valuing these types of claims. Policyholders want fast and accurate settlements so they can move on from what can be stressful and emotionally charged losses. Offering excellent customer experiences is key to building trust and loyalty amongst your policyholders.

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